The Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss is the featured charity for Stew Leonard's Wishing Well, until October 22. The spare penny or two tossed into the Wishing Well at the front of Stew Leonard's stores adds up with more than 400,000 customers entering the stores each week.
Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss is the only program of its kind to service Western Connecticut and nearby New York and is solely funded by donations. Healing Hearts has provided support to thousands of families for 20 years. Their mission is to bring hope and meaning back to families lives. Healing Hearts program manager Joanna DeNicola says through education, support groups and workshops, children and families have a safe place to begin healing. She says they begin to understand their feelings as they face the challenge of rebuilding their lives with meaning and hope.
DeNicola says they have different groups for adults based on the type of loss they've suffered. The groups include the loss of spouse, an infant, a child of any age, and then a general loss group for those grieving a parent, sibling or someone else close to them. A survivors of suicide group is also offered.
The Wishing Well is located in all four Stew Leonard's locations, and each store features a local charity that changes on a weekly or monthly basis. Customers and their children are invited to toss in their spare change as they exit the store.